The Adults are Back in Charge

The point of democracy is that information flows the most freely. There are many reasons why some information should be restricted. If one’s privacy is going to be damaged or national security is at stake, by all means, some information should be kept from the public. The rest of the time there is no excuse for a public agency to not let information flow freely. Even worse, is when information doesn’t flow because of organized interests.

Blago has a plan

A bemused Steve Neal reports on Blagojevich’s 6 year plan to become President of the United States.

Blago is okay. He has a lot on his plate in trying to solve the state’s fiscal problems and if he is successful, all the more power to him.

But, as my candidate said in 2000, "What is your dream?"

It sure as hell isn’t a pandering twit who doesn’t seriously tackle hard issues and Blag has shown no ability or desire to solve difficult problems. Illinois’ fiscal problems aren’t a result of tax phobia, but of an outdated taxing structure. He has proposed no serious reform for this problem.

Illinois’ education problem is the result of too much reliance on property taxes and he won’t tackle that issue. What issue will he tackle?

I don’t know and that is the problem.

I’ll Miss G-Ry Greatly

George Ryan has truly been a gift to those who enjoy political chicanery. While making some of the most important infrastructure improvements since Build Illinois, he takes the time to loot the public trough every chance he gets. The audacity of his moves boggle the mind. The most recent was on the Capitol Fax:

GOING FOR THE GOLD Governor Ryan proposed a pension sweetener for his top staff yesterday. The package effected about 60 staffers, according to sources, and would increase their pensions substantially. "It was ridiculous," said one legislative leader yesterday.

The idea was rejected by the four legislative leaders, but there are some retiring legislators who have an interest in opening up some new pension "windows," and Senate President Pate Philip continues to push for enhanced pensions for senior legislative staff, so keep an eye on this one.

Incestuous post by Den Beste or incestuous Post by Reynolds or Incestuous Post by Hesiod Who is

Incestuous post by Den Beste or incestuous Post by Reynolds or Incestuous Post by Hesiod

Who is the biggest turd in the punch bowl? I don’t care. As Josh Marshall points out this is a bit ridiculous.

I was tempted to include the original post by RR, but I figured one post on the subject was about right. Let’s be real here and admit one vanity web site refusing to link to a another vanity site that links to a third vanity web site is not worth the bandwidth being devoted to it. So why am I? I find this one hysterical. At least it is providing humor.

However, there are some great lines that should make anyone laugh who has noticed the habit of bloggers taking themselves too seriously:

SDB: Initial examination of RR’s site instantly conveys an unmistakable pomposity anyway.

SDB: Of course, there are always people who take themselves too seriously and who think they are more important than they truly are. And an unfortunately large number of those are on the political left, where there is a rising horror at the way that we bloodthirsty rabid warbloggers are perverting their medium to deliver the wrong message.

SDB: This strikes me as a beautiful example modern leftist activity: it’s public, it’s in-your-face, it demonstrates moral and ideological purity, and it will have negligible practical effect. It’s pragmatically null. It’s a tempest in a teapot.

SDB: The material posted on the site equally projects an impression that the author is rather full of himself. One example is the following entry, quoted in its entirety:

It is fortunate that RR’s gesture is empty and meaningless because if it were actually effective it would be a serious threat to freedom of expression."

Hesiod caugth the Den Beste disease of writing a long, boring article that could have been done in two paragraphs. What up with that?

Another advantage of blogging is that it produces real time satire, that isn’t satire.

Classless Warfare

One of the more amusing charges by the babbling class is that when Democrats argue one policy or another is unfair to the poor because it disproportionately impacts them, a chorus of, "CLASS WARFARE!" is heard throughout the airwaves. This, of course, misses the point that disproportionately affecting poor people is class warfare.

But rarely do we see such blatant example as Tim Noah points out. Especially laughable is the argument that because an individual only pays 4% of their income to federal income taxes they are undertaxed. If one looks at their total tax burden it is much higher given the impact of sales taxes.

Bobo Dolls

One of the things I admire about Kit Bond is that he knows his weaknesses. At public events where alcohol is served, Bond reportedly has a drink counter to ensure he doesn’t take his shoe off and bang it on the podium. This isn’t a perfect solution as anyone who watched the 2000 election night tantrum, but generally it keeps him out of trouble.

Is there a way to institute such a watcher for Pat Robertson’s mouth? You know, something like a miniature electric shock to his groin when he just won’t stop saying stupid things. I mean really…the President of the United States and the Secretary of State slap you around on the international stage and like a Bobo Doll, you pop back up to take more abuse. Maybe he is reading Little Green Footballs and thinks it is representative of America.

The public would be better served, Mr. Robertson said, if the media would investigate the content of the Koran and what he says are many passages that incite Muslims to kill nonbelievers. But reporting on that, he said, "is not politically correct."

It wouldn’t be politically correct to take on the more militant passages of the Bible either. The Koran and the Bible were written in different times and so their message is delivered in a different context. Leaders of either religion can use it to inspire the best in us, or to promote violence.

What Republicans are Good for

Brad DeLong explained why Republicans should be like abortion; safe, legal, and rare. Free trade is one of the most vital policies for the United States to pursue and generally Democrats aren’t as strong on it as I would like. So today I actually have nice things to say about the administration. A proposal has been made to significantly reduce tariffs on manufactured goods. Even better, this includes textiles which have been a sticking point for many Southern Republicans.

Not exactly Anti-Semtic, but…

The Prince of Darkness, um, ahem, well, um, just read it from Jonah Goldberg on The Corner.

BOB NOVAK: Mr. May, I wonder if we can cut through all of this because I’ve been around this town a long time. I’ve never seen such an attack on Saudi Arabia. Isn’t this all part of a plot that is hatched in Israel that, what you do is you attack Iraq, you get the oil supplies from Iraq, that means you don’t have to — the United States doesn’t have to rely on the Saudi Arabian oil supplies. You destabilize the Saudi Arabian government, change the balance of power in the Middle East, and you change the ratio of oil politics? Isn’t that what is going on

LaHood Targets Fitzgerald

Oh my, the Fitzgerald challenge is getting ugly.

"I’m thinking about trying to make sure Peter has an opponent," LaHood told the Sun-Times. "I think we can do better than him."

This is very interesting. The feud between Hastert and Fitzgerald has been well publicized. This indicates, Hastert is probably actively targeting Fitzgerald in the primary. LaHood is a very low key guy who learned at the hand of Bob Michel as his long-time chief-of-staff. A move like this doesn’t happen by LaHood without serious consideration of the impact and consultations with others. It is hard to imagine this occuring without Rove and Hastert signing off.

This is an especially risky maneuver. If it fails, Fitzgerald is hurt in the primary with a bruising battle setting him up to lose in the general if a decent Democratic candidate is selected (largely meaning not Carol Mosely Braun). If it is successful, Andrew McKenna loses the right wing base for the general election, meaning they stay home and don’t vote for Bush or McKenna. I can’t imagine Bush or Rove being able to signal opposition to Fitzgerald and maintaining the conservative base of voters in Illinois. Without a strong conservative base vote, Illinois is unwinnable for Bush. It is a stretch with the conservative base.

In many ways this is more difficult than California. Riordan was a sure winner in the general election. Simon wasn’t an incumbent either and realistically California isn’t voting for Bush, but Riordan as Governor would have made the Democrats spend money in the state in 2004. There was nothing to lose. In this case there is a potential downfall. If McKenna is on the ticket, Illinois may be out of play for the presidential race, but Republicans will have to spend a lot of money on McKenna, a likely loser.

There is a bit of intrigue on the Democratic side as well. I’ve got a full day so I’ll post more tonight.